by | Nov 7, 2016 | Artwork #3: Intervene


a stealth based scavenger hunt

The rules are simple. Check off the boxes, be honest, & above all, DON’T GET CAUGHT! You lose 2 points for every prudent student you disrupt.

GUIDE TO DISRUPTION: it only counts as a full disruption if the person in question makes eye contact with you.

CATEGORY ONE: 1 Point Each

Spot someone…

  • typing some sort of paper on their computer
  • writing in a notebook
  • using a calculator
  • using a pencil
  • using a blue or black pen
  • using a Mac
  • using a PC
  • using PhotoShop
  • googling something
  • on Facebook
  • on Twitter
  • on Tumblr
  • on Reddit
  • on YouTube

CATEGORY 2: 3 Points Each

Get a closer look to determine if someone is…

  • studying something within your major
  • coding in any language
  • reading the New York Times
  • taking a BuzzFeed quiz
  • reading anything on BuzzFeed
  • online shopping
  • using their phone to check Instagram
  • eating a snack
  • eating a full blown meal
  • drinking something other than water
  • drawing in their notebook


I don’t have any photo documentation, simply because that would’ve removed some of the stealth aspect of the game…If I’d have asked my players (my roommate & friend) to take pictures of every category that they checked off, I feel like I would’ve been breaking my own rule of noninvasiveness. Instead, I relied on my friends’ honesty.

Overall, they enjoyed the game. They felt a little weird at first, sneaking around the library, but they said that after a few minutes, they felt more comfortable. My roommate said they felt more comfortable if they acted as normal as possible, instead of trying to actually “sneak” around. Walking normally seemed to cause less of a disturbance as well. Players reported being spotted more often if they tried crouching or moving too quickly like you would in a stealth video game– people other than their “target” would often take notice.

One addition they’d like to add would be more things to spot! For example, they saw many people using their phones, & wished they could count that category multiple times.

Artist’s Statement: My intervention is sort of an anti-intervention. When looking through the readings, in particular the Dada readings, I believe that my inspiration came not so much from the works themselves but from the way in which people have been impacted. After everything we saw in class, including the Humans versus Zombies game & all of the improv games, I thought long & hard about what I would be interested in doing. For a while I was interested in a graveyard as a context for this intervention, & many of my ideas involved myself & my small human skeleton replica placing ourselves within different contexts, but many of these ideas seemed trite & cheap. Eventually, I decided that I wanted to create a game that would actually try its very hardest NOT to intervene with the word around it. Especially after watching The Institute, I was set in my decision to create a work of art that would be as noninvasive as possible. While the world created by The Institute was engaging & really magical, I wonder about the impact it had on certain people– I was rather unclear as to where the reality ended & the fiction began, at least in the video documentary that we watched. Regardless, I wanted to create something that would instead be played parallel to everyday life, as opposed to crossing into it. Additionally, I was unfortunate enough to be sick when this project was assigned. Interestingly enough, that ended up playing a fairly significant role in the development of my project, since it limited where I could go, & thus, my inspiration for this very context based piece. I ended up being limited to the buildings I already knew, & the same concern kept popping into my head: there will be students in there, working, & I don’t want to disturb them! I kept thinking about the issue of the people who aren’t playing the game being negatively affected, & that actually led to my inspiration. What if I created a game that relied heavily on stealth? It’s a mechanic we see often in video games, but what if we applied it to real life? I realized that Snell Library would be a wonderful context for this project, since there would be a large amount of students studying a number of things on a daily basis. My stealth game relies on this– it is essentially a scavenger hunt, where players compete to navigate the building, checking off their score sheets as they find what is required of them. I added the requirement that the players avoid detection in the form of direct eye contact, a mechanic I stole from the Pokemon series. I rely heavily on the honesty of my participants, seeing as they could very easily lie to me. I will of course, not be able to follow them as they move around the building, but I choose to believe that deep down, people are good, & they will not deceive me.